OF CLASS TOPICS AND ASSIGNMENTS
TO THE COURSE
9/10, 9/12 INTRODUCTION
TO VISUAL SOCIOLOGY: SOCIAL SCIENCE AND PHOTOGRAPHIC FIELDWORK
NOTE: ALL these
first readings will be important for your future work in the course. Read
them with care.
Douglass Harper, 1988.
"Visual Sociology: Expanding Sociological Vision", The American Sociologist,
Spring, pp. 54-70.
Howard Becker, 1995.
"Visual sociology, documentary photography, and photojournalism: it's
(almost) all a matter of context." Visual Sociology 10: 1/2: 5-14.
bell hooks, 1995.
"In Our Glory: Photography and Black Life", in bell hooks, Art on My
Mind: Visual Politics. New York: New Press, pp. 54-64. (Note: this
essay is important in your thinking about Project 1.)
This is a very interesting
site with an article in this issue including photographs by documentary
photographer Mary Ellen Mark, and audio clips in which she her manner
of working. You need to view this site on a computer on which you can
hear the audio clips. If you cant do that on your own machine, go
to one of the campus machines, but do not skip this important part of
Here is the program
for the 2001 International Visual Sociology Association. Read through
the titles of presentations for a better flavor of what visual sociologists
do. (You can become a student member of IVSA. The 2002 meetings are in
July on the beautiful island of Mykonos, Greece!)
9/17, 9/19, 9/24,
9/26 MAKING QUALITY IMAGES
A. Technical elements
of the image: cameras and film; exposure, developing, enlarging
Barbara Upton and
John Upton, Photography. Fourth edition. NY: Harper Collins, 1989.
Handouts from this excellent book will be distributed and discussed in
class. I will try to put a copy on reserve for those who wish to read
more. If you are serious about photography, this is the best book I know
of on technique
it is used in many introductory photography courses.
taking and making better photographs
Terry Barrett, 1999.
Criticizing Photographs: An Introduction to Understanding Images.
3rd edition. Mayfield Publishing Company. Chapters to be assigned.
Howard Becker, 1986.
"Do Photographs Tell the Truth?" in Doing Things Together. Evanston,
IL: Northwestern University Press, pp. 273-292. ( * this reading
is ESSENTIAL to the class discussion).
Cecil Beaton and Gail
Buckland, 1975. "Introduction". The Magic Image: The Genius of Photography
from 1839 to the Present Day. London: Weidenfield and Nicolson. Pp.
Linda Koolish, 1984.
"This is who she is to me: On photographing women." In Ascher, De Salvo,
and Ruddick, Between Women. New York: Beacon Press, pp 112-135.
Max Kozloff critiques
Richard Avedons photos in his book and exhibit American West.
This is a brief
piece on the Calvin Klein ads, about reading a photograph.
C. Digital processes
and visual truth
William J. Mitchell,
1992. The Reconfigured Eye: Visual Truth in the Post-Photographic Era.
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp 191-232.
If you are interested
in doing digital printing, the best book I know of is Photoshop 6.0
Artistry by Barry Haynes. Talk to me about it.
10/1 Project 1
due today, to be presented and discussed.
"Learn from the mistakes
of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself"
10/3, 10/8, 10/10 C.
The photo essay
Barrett, pp.To be
but not required (this is a short book), on reserve: 1990. Mary Ellen
Mark, The Photo Essay. Smithsonian.
Read the biographical
info about Mary Ellen Mark at http://www.maryellenmark.com
Then read ALL the text and examine the photos from Streetwise at http://www.maryellenmark.com/frames/stwise.html
(This will take 1-2 hours to reviewI expect.) The text is in the following
sections which you need to read online because there will be only 1 or
2 copies of the book on reserve.
* Preface &
Postscript - Mary Ellen Mark
- John Irving
* Foreword -
of the film Streetwise
Then go to the library
and carefully look at the photos in the book version, which is on reserve:
Mary Ellen Mark and Nancy Baker, Streetwise. NY: Aperture, 1988.
On 10/8 you will see the film version. This class on 10/8 will continue
an extra 20 minutes to permit full viewing of the film. Please be there
on time and make arrangements to stay later than usual. SEE INSTRUCTIONS
FOR PROJECT 2, A WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT WHICH DEALS WITH STREETWISE,
which is due on 10/15
10/15, 10/17, 10/22
Photographic representations of social life: political
and ethical issues
2, Streetwise paper due 10/15
of social issues
Peter Hamilton, 1997.
"Representing the Social: France and Frenchness in Post War Humanist Photography."
pp. 76 - 150 in Stuart Hall (ed), Representation: Cultural Representations
and Signifying Practices. London: Sage Publications in association
with the Open University. This is a long but important essay. Be sure
you read it before Oct 20 to get the most from our class trip.
Ohm, Karin Becker,
1977, "What you see is what you get: Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams at
Manzanar", in Journalism History, 4: 1, Spring, pp. 14-22, 32.
Read this site,
looking at all the photos, about FSA photographer Walker Evans. There
is a good discussion here about the photographers decisions, and
some discussion of a topic to which we will turn soon: the role of the
magazine or funding agency in the shaping of the photos and the photo
This web site was
created from a very powerful and disturbing exhibit that was at the
New York Historical Society in the Spring of 1999. I will try to order
the book to the library and put it on reserve.
The Schomburg Library
(part of the NYPL) has a large archive of visual materials and an online
collection of images of African Americans. Begin with the Introduction,
a good piece by Marilyn Nance, and ultimately look at some images.
10/20 CLASS TRIP
TO NY GREY GALLERY, NYU 'Shifting Tides: Cuban
Photography After the Revolution," - An Exhibit of Cuba photos from the
1960's and 1970's
b. Representations of old age, illness, and death
Guest lecturer expected
to be here and a film on an old age center will probably be shown in class,
as well as discussion of these readings
On reserve in the
library be sure to look at this book:
Dan and Mary Jury,
1976. Gramp. New York: Grossman Publishers.
Simon Watney (year?),
"Photography and AIDS", Ten-8, Number 26, pp. 14-29
You will each be assigned
one chapter of the following to read on reserve and present a summary
in class: David
Hevey, 1992. The creatures time forgot: photography and disability
imagery. New York: Routledge
3 due today to be presented and discussed
11/5, 11/7 Social
scientists with cameras: ethical issues, general practices, shooting scripts,
and photo-elicitation interviews
Cathy Greenblat, 2001.
"Field notes from Oaxaca", and "Shadows of Remembrance
" text and
photos. More information to be provided
Steven Gold, "Ethical
Issues in Visual Field Work" In G. Blank, James McCartney, and Edward
Brent, New Technology in Sociology. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction
Publishers, 1989, pp. 99-109.
a Good Social Role is Worth 1,000 Photographs". In Jon Wagner, 1979 Images
of Information: Still Photography in the Social Sciences. Newbury
Park: Sage Publications.
Charles Suchar, 1997.
"Grounding visual sociology research in shooting scripts", Qualitative
Sociology 20: 33-55.
On reserve and very
John Collier and Malcolm
Collier, 1986. Visual Anthropology. Albequerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press,
12 page handout on
shooting scripts, mostly from Roy Stryker
analysis of images
Handouts will be given
in class in conjunction of our discussion of this topic.
This research paper
on images of men in sexuality pamphlets demonstrates the sociological
analysis of images.
11/19 no class
("payback" for our Saturday class in October)
11/21 no class
--- this is a Friday for Rutgers class
While we will not
meet, you should try to read as much as you can during this week of the
You might want to discuss some of the ideas in it
with members of your family if you are home for Thanksgiving, and see
what they think.
Catherine A. Lutz
, Jane L. Collins, Reading National Geographic. Univ of Chicago
Press, 1993. Whole book to be read and discussed in class
12/5, 12/10 Representations of other peoples
piece by Shahidul Alam titled "The Visual Representation of Developing
Countries by Development Agencies and the Western Media".
READ THE ASSIGNED
BOOKS FOR THE TAKE-HOME FINAL PAPERFor
the final project, you will need to read and CAREFULLY ANALYZE the following
sets of books, which will be on reserve in the library. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL
THE LAST MINUTE TO DO THIS. There will be more instructions on this project,
which will build on ALL the reading and class discussion of the semester,
and should reflect your command of the topics. The books are:
Tony Mendoza, 1999.
Cuba: Going Back. Austin: University of Texas Press and
David Allen Harvey,
Cuba. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999
12/12 Final paper
due. MANDATORY ATTENDANCE AT THIS CLASS